Muslims observe Celebration of Sacrifice

Friday, January 30, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:14 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday marks the end of a holy time in the Islamic faith. Muslims all over the world are taking part in the celebration of Eid al Adha, a festival that commemorates the sacrifices and hardships faced by the prophet Abraham.

Eid al Adha, also called the Celebration of Sacrifice, is marked after the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, known as Hajj. It follows the Day of Arafat, a time for fasting and worship.The Columbia Islamic community will celebrate by holding a special prayer service Sunday morning at the Holiday Inn Expo Center. About 1,000 people are expected to attend.

Shakir Hamoodi, a member of the Islamic Center of Central Missouri, said there are two major celebrations a year -- "one that occurs after the month of Ramadan (Eid al Fitar) and one that occurs after Hajj and both are highly religious."

The Muslim Students Organization at MU will celebrate with the Islamic Center of Central Missouri, said Rehab El-Bur, the group's education officer.

Muslims traditionally mark the occasion by participating in prayer services, traditional food and dress and by visiting relatives and friends.

Ali Bagegni, principal of the Islamic School of Central Missouri, says that in Islam occasions are celebrated more so than people and that Eid is a celebration of the story of the prophet Abraham and the test he was given. Abraham's test was whether he would be willing to slay his son.

Students at the Islamic school will celebrate Eid with a special party on Tuesday. "It's important for the children to live in the environment of Eid, because it's a part of their religion," he said.

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